dl767captain
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Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:55 am

Was just looking at a Delta flight in June and noticed that the 767 has pretty much the whole forward coach cabin blocked out for preferred seating. I know DL used to have preferred seating but this seems like more than they previously had. Are these seats available during checkin for non elites?
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:07 am

DL started blocking out more seats a little while ago. I'm unsure of the exact date/month. Very recently (within the past week or 2) the release window is now 2 hours prior to departure. So basically, no the seats are vitually no good for non-elites unless you check in 2hrs or less prior to departure at say a kiosk.
What gets measured gets done.
 
delimit
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:49 pm

Well hey, Silver just got worth something!
 
bohica
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:26 pm

Quoting Delimit (Reply 2):
Well hey, Silver just got worth something!

What???         
 
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Acey559
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:57 pm

Quoting bohica (Reply 3):
What??

He's referring to the fact that Silver Medallion has been continuously devalued recently. They aren't included in the SkyPriority program, and there have been other efforts to further devalue that tier. But, because Silver is still a tier, they are allowed access to these priority seats, therefore giving them something of worse. I think it was mostly an amusing bit sarcasm on Delimit's part.
 
Alitalia744
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:07 pm

Ahhh...the sound of FOs complaining is similar to the hum of the engine. Always constant and always audible.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
SPREE34
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:42 pm

Sounds like a great way to alienate the casual traveler who has other choices.

I had a friend travel on DL recently with his 15 year old daughter. He went online to get seat assignments, and got one (1).He then called DL's reservations phone number, and was treated to a foreign call center who knew how to chant what was on a 3X5 card. Later he managed to get a supervisor who explained the situation (ie; said NO, you cannot have 2 seats together) , not concerned or caring at all that he was trying to arrange 2 seats together.
He had to wait until he was at the airport to get 2 seats assigned. On the outbound leg (2 flights) he and his daughter sat at opposite ends of the aircraft. Nice going Delta. you pissed off 2 people. One, who will avoid you in the future, and probably the daughter when she is of age and makes travel choices.

Taking care of regular customers is a good idea. Alienating other customers, or refusing their request or needs in the process seems like purposely planning a future failure.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
SkyPriorityDTW
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
He had to wait until he was at the airport to get 2 seats assigned.

As with EVERY airline, we guarantee passage... not seat assignments. There are many possible reasons as to why you may have not been able to get seats together. For example if a wheelchair passenger requests bulkhead seating and you so happen to be seated in the bulkhead, your seats will end up being changed... even if that means splitting up a party. You also may have not been in the same reservation, which leaves us with no idea that you are traveling with someone else. Another example can be that you didn't request to get seats together. Reservations doesn't have much control over seat assignments... most control is with the gate agent working the flight (many seats are blocked off for the gate agent to use). If ever you want to be seated together, ask the gate agent. Being a gate agent, I try to accommodate people together as much as I can... but it isn't always possible. Hope this helps for any future travel.
Keep Climbing...
 
SkyPriorityDTW
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:01 pm

Quoting dl767captain (Thread starter):

Preferred seats are blocked off for any non-Medallion passengers up until two hours prior to departure. Medallion passengers can request these before-hand. An agent has control to assign these seats to anyone, but has to override the entry when assigning the seat. We used to have preferred rows, but they opted to block off particular seats for Medallions as center seats aren't exactly preferred no matter what row they're in.
Keep Climbing...
 
jetlanta
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:09 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 5):
Ahhh...the sound of FOs complaining is similar to the hum of the engine. Always constant and always audible.

  Seriously, I made FO in JANUARY. If you aren't making it to Gold, you really aren't as good a customer as you think.

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
Taking care of regular customers is a good idea. Alienating other customers, or refusing their request or needs in the process seems like purposely planning a future failure.

So, they should alienate the good customers instead?

The vast majority of seats are available to everyone. If your friend couldn't get two together, it is because he booked very late. I fly over 100K miles a year. I'm not going to be too happy if I get stuck in a middle seat because a 15 year old needed her daddy. But the reality is that the gate agents would happily help them at the gate and if that didn't work the F/A's would take care of it. As a Platinum Medallion, I'd be very upset to learn that a reservations agent had taken my already reserved seat without contacting me.

By the way, those foreign call centers are now closed. So your example took place long before this new, increased allocation of premium seats.

It's about taking care of your best customers. And the 15 year old is only going to care about the fare and the schedule when she grows up. The fact she couldn't get a reserved seat with her dad when she was a teenager isn't going to make a bit of difference.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:38 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
(1).He then called DL's reservations phone number, and was treated to a foreign call center who knew how to chant what was on a 3X5 card.

Delta's call centers are all domestic (except for callers in certain parts of the world). Nice try though.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
compensateme
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:47 pm

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 9):
If your friend couldn't get two together, it is because he booked very late.

And now that most people use the internet to choose their seats, many are placing their parties in nothing but aisle seats and/or booking themselves in irregular patterns in hopes that the seats surrounding them will be vacant. So blame your fellow discourteous passengers.
Gordo:like this streaming video,Sky magazine,meals for sale at mealtime-make customer satisfaction rank so high at UA
 
jcavinato
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:01 pm

Airlines have a challenge: they have to do extra things to treat their best customers well or minimize their hassles/discomfort/abuse that is common with the downgraded experience today.

But, it also becomes a hindrance and barrier to getting new good customers. I, for example, travel about 150,000 miles a year. I stay with the one I have built up on. Infrequent trips that I have to take on others (United, Delta, and US for example) are experiences like old Southwest to me. I hold my breath and feel like the cattle run that much air travel is today. I do not care to endure 25,000 miles of that just to start to be treated like and experience what I remember good airline service to be.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:04 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
I had a friend travel on DL recently with his 15 year old daughter. He went online to get seat assignments, and got one (1).He then called DL's reservations phone number, and was treated to a foreign call center who knew how to chant what was on a 3X5 card.




What do you call recently? Delta hasn't had foreign call centers for quite a while.
 
SPREE34
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:19 pm

Quoting SkyPriorityDTW (Reply 7):
why you may have not been able to get seats together

"you"? Wasn't me. I avoid Delta, and don't have any kids that I'm aware of.

Quoting SkyPriorityDTW (Reply 7):
. Another example can be that you didn't request to get seats together

They DID request seats together. The reasons they could not have seats together were given from day 1, right up to inside the aircraft. (Pinnacle and Mesaba. Real Delta on return legs)

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 9):
So, they should alienate the good customers instead?

"Good"? The word I used was "regular". Is a non frequent customer not good? Note, the reply from DL to the customer (again, not me) was the seats were blocked incase a (insert FF level here) wanted one.

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 9):
If your friend couldn't get two together, it is because he booked very late.

Nope. They purchased 28 days in advance.

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 9):
those foreign call centers are now closed. So your example took place long before this new, increased allocation of premium seats.

Hum, then English proficiency must not be an employment requirement for call centers.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 10):
Delta's call centers are all domestic (except for callers in certain parts of the world). Nice try though.

Nice try yourself. See above Re English.


I don't think this is solely a Delta issue. FF programs are fine, but the carriers should not forget that new customers do come along, and an example such as with my friend and his daughter will not keep a new customer.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
compensateme
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:43 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 14):
Nope. They purchased 28 days in advance.

That's late -- most leisure/VFR travel is booked more than 30 days out and most of the business travelers booking less than 30 days out have access to those preferred seats. But chances are your friend and his 15-year-old daughter had an opportunity to purchase a preferred seat assignment (together) for a nominal fee.

There's not a single airline offering advanced seating assignments that's going to re-arrange everybody's existing seat assignments in advance; it's impossible to tell which passengers are small children, which passengers have special needs, etc. The solution will always be to take care of the situation at the airport. At that point, the preferred seats (as well as seats blocked for airport use, often the last row of the aircraft) will be released. Families traveling with small children and people traveling with special needs will always be accommodated first -- I have NEVER heard of a family/person with special needs being split apart. The only way around this, really, is to fly an airline without advanced seating assignments... a major inconvenience to those of us that value our time.

And frankly, if the dad was as miffed as he/you claimed, he could've expressed displeasure and would've likely been taken care of. But she's 15 -- chances are she's too busy playing with her iPod, reading her teen magazines, etc. to pay any attention to her dad (but old enough to sit alone). Probably wasn't that big of a deal.
Gordo:like this streaming video,Sky magazine,meals for sale at mealtime-make customer satisfaction rank so high at UA
 
delimit
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:17 pm

Quoting Acey559 (Reply 4):
He's referring to the fact that Silver Medallion has been continuously devalued recently. They aren't included in the SkyPriority program, and there have been other efforts to further devalue that tier. But, because Silver is still a tier, they are allowed access to these priority seats, therefore giving them something of worse. I think it was mostly an amusing bit sarcasm on Delimit's part.

Well read.  

And I am not Medallion anything anymore (new job involves no travel). I was just making a joke.  

To be fair, back when I was Silver I had great luck with Delta. Of course, this was years ago.

Even after I lost the status I had fees waived and generally got great service from ground staff because I...ahem...accidentally...left my SIlver tags on my bags. They knew I wasn't SIlver anymore, obviously. One actually explained they just did it because they saw the tags and wanted to thank me for being SIlver (ie, a loyal DL flier) in the past.

Things like that have kept me a DL flier ever since, even if it is only for vacations and family visits and such.
 
dl767captain
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:33 pm

The thing I'm bummed about is I'm always just shy of making silver medallion, If I hadn't used miles for a flight this year I'd be at silver and be able to pick seats further up. It's too bad they don't do like NW and allow you to play a little more for preferred seats even if it's just some of them.
 
srbmod
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:18 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
Sounds like a great way to alienate the casual traveler who has other choices.

Well as long as my other options keep having a product on transcons that is inferior to DL's, I'll keep flying Delta.

You think about, if you get to the airport 90-120 minutes prior to the flight, you can always hit a kiosk and see if they've opened those seats to non-Medallions. Even better is if you've got a mobile device, you can change your seating assignment using it and get an e-boarding pass.
 
SkyPriorityDTW
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:32 pm

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 14):
"you"? Wasn't me. I avoid Delta, and don't have any kids that I'm aware of.

My apologies for the misinterpretation, however, I think you get the point. The bottom line for air travel is that airlines guarantee passage, but not seat assignments.

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 14):
They DID request seats together. The reasons they could not have seats together were given from day 1, right up to inside the aircraft. (Pinnacle and Mesaba. Real Delta on return legs)

I explained to you in my earlier post that requesting to have seats together to the reservations agents is essentially doing nothing. They don't have full control over seat assignments, the gate agents do. Trust me, this happens to a lot of people on a lot of airlines. What it seems like your insinuating is that Delta is trying to keep those who you speak of apart when, in fact, we would be more than happy to try and accommodate the needs of passengers. However, what one must realize is that this isn't always possible.

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 14):
Nope. They purchased 28 days in advance.

Just as an FYI, that is pretty late. Many travelers book months, even a year in advance. Realize that regardless of when you book, seat assignments are really a toss up and are never guaranteed by any airline that I know of.
Keep Climbing...
 
bohica
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:47 pm

Quoting Acey559 (Reply 4):
He's referring to the fact that Silver Medallion has been continuously devalued recently. They aren't included in the SkyPriority program, and there have been other efforts to further devalue that tier. But, because Silver is still a tier, they are allowed access to these priority seats, therefore giving them something of worse. I think it was mostly an amusing bit sarcasm on Delimit's part.

Thanks.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:52 pm

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 15):

That's late -- most leisure/VFR travel is booked more than 30 days out and most of the business travelers booking less than 30 days out have access to those preferred seats. But chances are your friend and his 15-year-old daughter had an opportunity to purchase a preferred seat assignment (together) for a nominal fee.

From what I have heard on domestic routes the 50% booking of capacity is about 8-12 days out in the US for legacy airlines.
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LH417AF025
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:25 pm

did they finally block the exit rows on the 767 to elites only?
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:15 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 6):
Nice going Delta. you pissed off 2 people. One, who will avoid you in the future, and probably the daughter when she is of age and makes travel choices.

Taking care of regular customers is a good idea. Alienating other customers, or refusing their request or needs in the process seems like purposely planning a future failure.



Rant much? Keep in mind these "preferred" seats are not only for medallion level travelers. They are for your grandma that has to be taken to a gate in a wheelchair. For Jummy, the 9yr old unaccompanied minor. For the single traveling mother that has purchased 3 seats, one for herself and two for her infant twins. Please, don't make it seem like DL just brushes everyone else under the rug.

This is not something exclusive to DL. All network carriers block out seats/rows for elites and special needs passengers. There's always WN and even there, if they don't get on early enough they won't be sitting together.
What gets measured gets done.
 
srbmod
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:29 am

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 23):
This is not something exclusive to DL. All network carriers block out seats/rows for elites and special needs passengers. There's always WN and even there, if they don't get on early enough they won't be sitting together.

But it's never typically this many seats. Typically, airlines block off the exit rows and the first few rows in coach, not nearly the entire front of coach.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:46 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 24):
But it's never typically this many seats. Typically, airlines block off the exit rows and the first few rows in coach, not nearly the entire front of coach.

Delta has modified it, with the amount of seats being held fluctuating based on how many elites are on the route - if it's an elite heavy route at peak hours, they might hold 10+ rows (I think there were 12 held back on my MD-88 for next Tuesday night's MSP-ATL) - makes it so that there's a higher likelihood that those elite travelers and full fare ticket holders can get a shot at a window or an aisle instead of taking a middle.

As a Diamond who has often changed flights at the last minute, or bought tickets within 2-3 days of departure, Delta holding back more seats for me is a very welcome change - instead of grabbing a middle and hoping my upgrade clears (which fortunately it does most of the time), I can now know I'm more likely to be in a window/aisle than stuck in a middle. Makes me feel like my loyalty is being better appreciated.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:53 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 10):
Delta's call centers are all domestic (except for callers in certain parts of the world). Nice try though.

To be fair, the quality of English is not always that high, even with the onshore call centers. Unless I'm calling for certain functions that require more competence (i.e. the rebooking desk), I probably stand a better chance of getting a really high level of spoken English overseas than I do here. I remember when I lived in South America, I had to call Delta's local call centers a couple of times, and the English proficiency was very good.

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 25):
Delta has modified it, with the amount of seats being held fluctuating based on how many elites are on the route - if it's an elite heavy route at peak hours, they might hold 10+ rows (I think there were 12 held back on my MD-88 for next Tuesday night's MSP-ATL) - makes it so that there's a higher likelihood that those elite travelers and full fare ticket holders can get a shot at a window or an aisle instead of taking a middle.

It's sort of a double-edged sword. Putting aside the keeping passengers happy issue, it can be quite a chore for an agent to fill a bunch of seats close to departure; I haven't noticed this as much with DL as with some others, but one of the problems with holding a lot of seats in the internet age is that you get a lot of passengers who OLCI and have to get seats at the gate.
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srbmod
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:57 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 25):

Delta has modified it, with the amount of seats being held fluctuating based on how many elites are on the route - if it's an elite heavy route at peak hours, they might hold 10+ rows (I think there were 12 held back on my MD-88 for next Tuesday night's MSP-ATL) - makes it so that there's a higher likelihood that those elite travelers and full fare ticket holders can get a shot at a window or an aisle instead of taking a middle.

I recently booked an ATL-LAS-ATL trip and on my flight out, with the exception of the middle seat in the middle section of the rows (763), the entire front of the cabin to the exit rows were all reserved for elites. On the return flight (a 757), only the exit row seats and the first rows in coach are reserved as it normally is.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Delta Holding More Preferred Seats?

Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:35 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 26):
It's sort of a double-edged sword. Putting aside the keeping passengers happy issue, it can be quite a chore for an agent to fill a bunch of seats close to departure; I haven't noticed this as much with DL as with some others, but one of the problems with holding a lot of seats in the internet age is that you get a lot of passengers who OLCI and have to get seats at the gate.

Not sure if it's an elite thing, but when I've gone to do OLCI over the past couple of weeks (about 8 times OLCI'ing), the seats that were light blue (preferred) had defaulted to the white (non-preferred) - I'm guessing anyone can book those at OLCI. I'll find out for sure in a few weeks though when I go to LAS with my (non-status) girlfriend - we're on separate PNRs, so if she can move into the elite seats, that would mean anyone can.

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